This Florida Dad is Posting a Dance Video Every Day Until His Son Leaves the NICU
"It's helped some families who lost babies in the NICU get through a tough situation and smile. I figured as long as that's happening, I'd keep dancing."
Chris Askew has found a unique way to cheer on his youngest son while he’s busy getting bigger and stronger in the NICU.
On January 12, Chris’s wife Danielle suffered a partial placental abruption at 30 weeks pregnant. She gave birth to a baby boy named Dylan, who weighed a little over four pounds.
Dylan, the couple’s fourth child, has been in the NICU at Winnie Palmer Hospital in Orlando, Florida, ever since.
Late at night on the second day of Dylan’s hospital stay, Chris filmed a video of himself dancing in the laundry room at the Ronald McDonald House, where he was staying following his son's birth. The 42-year-old shared the short clip on the popular social media platform TikTok.
"I posted it and went to bed,” he recalled to Today. "I woke up and I had like 400,000 or 500,000 views. And then the messages started coming in—there's been an outpouring of support for my family, and it's also helping other people somehow. People are thanking me and sharing their NICU success stories ... it's helped some families who lost babies in the NICU get through a tough situation and smile. I figured as long as that's happening, I'd keep dancing."
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So, Chris has kept on dancing, posting a new video to TikTok for each day Dylan remains in the hospital. He’s danced alongside Interstate 4 near his home in Osteen, on the basketball court with the Orlando Magic’s hip-hop dance team, with his fellow firefighters, and even rappelling down a rock wall. And he’s going to keep on dancing until Dylan leaves the NICU.
The family just passed 23 days in the NICU. Chris told Today that doctors haven't set an exact date when Dylan will be able to come home, but they're projecting maybe another two to three weeks.
"When this started, I really didn't have a mission for it or a plan," said Askew. "But now I've seen that it helps people and makes them smile, so I'm going to spread that out as much as I can to everybody."